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"Flushing" Transmission Fluid

Mkrucejr

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I was at a local shop today...he's been there at least 15 years.

Got to talking about fluids, both oil and tranny.

Oil, he swears by Mobil 1 synthetic.....that I know.

We started talking about transmission fluids. I told him I heard (which I did) that if you dont have transmission problems, leave tranny alone.....he disagreed, he said it needs to be changed at every 30,000. I asked about the stories that dropping the pan was bad.....

He said that he doesn't open the pan...that a machine is used. It uses a tranny cleaner, cleans the trans, and the filter. A bladder pushes out all the old fluid, and injects new fluid. He also said synthetic fluid is the way to go.

He said this should be done every 30,000, and charges about $170.



Anyone fill me in on this?? Good/bad??? how the price??
 
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TheJackal

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Yeah, a lot of shops use those flush machines. They hook it up to the cooler lines, and the machine catches the old fluid and adds new fluid based on what it took out.

Some people on here have come up with a homebrew flush method, albeit controversial. I plan to drop the pan this Friday, but my fluid is brown and I've got 100,000+ on it.
 
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jimbo74

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part of what he said is good... you need to drop the pan to clean out hte filter.... you can hope that back flushing it removes the crap, in reality it might, but there are ways little pieces can get stuck and get gummed up... a power flush doenst always get everywhere... i owuld hit the pan and filter before running the flush


if its an older tranny, and isnt exhibiting problems, you should do about 3 tranny pan drops then do a power flush... seems liek a lot of expense and hassle, but its a hell of a lot cheaper than a tranny rebuild and downtime
 
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Rottie

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My Ford dealer said that they don't usually do pan drops, just flushes. This is what they did on mine and I've had no problems since. I would add that if you are using synthetic fluid I think it would be a little silly to change it every 30,000 miles. It should be fine for much longer than that. We use synthetic fluid here at work and use it for long term durability testing and it holds up very well (and we beat the crap out of them too! :).
 
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aldive

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I would not do a power flush.

You can easily flush the tranny using it to pump out the ATF while you add new.

I just flushed mine and the old ATF ( with 40k miles on it ) looked just like the new . I use Amsoil ATF.

I do not drop the pan; I have an external filter which gets changed after each flush.
 
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BrooklynBay

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The internal filter is the main filter, so it's good to replace this filter before flushing it with any sort of machine. The machine could cause particles which are trapped in the old filter to fly all over the inside of the transmission. This could clog many passage ways, and create problems which didn't exist prior to the power flush.
 
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Rusty

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I ran into a guy that bought a cheapie drill pump at Home Depot and hooked some hoses up to it and ran it down the dipstick to get the tranny fluid out... i tried it and didn't get hardly anything out...
i am afraid to drop the pan on my ex .. it has 175XXX and i don't know when/ if it was ever done.. i have had it since 133XXX.
I have heard horror stories about people dropping the pan and actually causing the tranny to prematurely wear out.. i dunno why

anyone have any good info on that?
 
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Rottie

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The internal filter is the main filter, so it's good to replace this filter before flushing it with any sort of machine. The machine could cause particles which are trapped in the old filter to fly all over the inside of the transmission. This could clog many passage ways, and create problems which didn't exist prior to the power flush.

I'm not trying to sound argumentative here so please don't take offense, but what kind of particles are you expecting to see trapped in the filter? I'm not as familiar as you are with the Ford transmissions as I am with GM/Allison transmissions, but from all the testing I've done the only debris I really ever see is friction material from the clutch disks. This usually presents itself as a blackish powder or residue in the fluid. If you do have particles large enough to stick valves or clog passages in the valve body, that would indicate to me that there is already some damage to the transmission (meaning clutch disk failure, metal fragmentation of the internal splines in the case, etc.) and failure would happen regardless at some point in the near future anyway.
Wouldn't flushing the trans push all of the debris back down into the pan? Then wouldn't it have to get sucked back up through the filter where it would be caught again before getting back inside the valve body and main case?
I'm not at all against changing the internal filter, and I think it's a good idea to do as well as the flush. I guess I just don't understand why people are worried about the flush. Is there something in the Ford transmissions that has made this a common problem? I have to admit, I've owned more GM products than Ford's (only because I work for them, not by preference), so I don't know much about their transmissions.;) You make some excellent points, I'm just trying to understand so maybe I won't tear mine up.:thumbsup:
 
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BrooklynBay

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Metal thrust washers make a lot of small particles. Combine this with the friction material, and the fluid gets thick. Plastic thrust washers, and torrington bearings would greatly reduce the amount of build up. A magnet in the pan helps keep everything clean, but only catches pieces of iron from drums, shells, planetaries, pump gears, one way sprags, and other related hard parts. Did you ever do pool maintenance? They have a filter which has to be back washed to remove the build up inside of it. Now, if you try to do this on a transmission, the dirt which is caught on the filter will go everywhere before it comes out of the other line. Flushing the fluid in the same direction as the flow will not cause this problem. So this is the trick behind the flushing procedure. The people which have issues might have had the flush done in the opposite direction.
 
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Rottie

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Cool. Thanks for the clarification. So, if I'm understanding you right, the flushes that the dealers do are backflushes, not flushing in the same direction as normal flow. That makes more sense now. :)
 
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manaen

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Can we put these back into the can now?
worms.jpg
 
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Four0Sport

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my 97 5.0L has 136K miles on it and as far as its been in my family we have never changed the filter or flushed the trans. ive been noticing a slight shudder when i am in 4th at low rpms and the tc locks and unlocks. no slips, no whines, just a shudder once in a while. i was thinking about dropping the pan and changing the fitler/fluid but have always been weary of doing this bc of horror stories about good transmissions going out after a filter change. the fluid is starting to turn brown, not too much pink left, doesnt smell burnt. just old. would i benefit more from a flush or just a good old fashioned pan drop?
 
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BrooklynBay

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